Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights engages local youth to combat STIs
Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are rising across Canada, and youth ages 15-29 have some of the highest rates of infection. Saskatchewan is no exception: cases of syphilis have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and gonorrhea are also on the rise.
Feeling of shame or judgement can prevent people from getting an STI test when they need one. These challenges are often amplified for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (2SLGBTQ+) youth, who may experience health care that is not affirming of their sexual and/or gender identity.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights’ latest campaign aims combat rising STI rates by encouraging 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Saskatchewan to find the STI test that works for them. Launched on February 1st at www.testforyou.ca, the six-week campaign includes an online testing schedule calculator, local testing locations, and FAQs about STI testing. Plus, they’re working with Canada’s Drag Race star Ilona Verley to get the message out!
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights worked with local 2SLGBTQ+ youth to design a campaign that would reflect real youth and respond to their biggest concerns about STI testing. As evaluators of the project, our team is also working with Saskatoon-based researchers who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Their on-the-ground knowledge and connections are helping us understand whether the campaign has reached and affected queer youth in Saskatoon.
To learn more about the campaign, visit www.testforyou.ca. Action Canada’s information and referral line (call 1-888-642-2725 or text 613-800-6757) also provides 24/7 access to confidential information about sexual health care.